I would say that aside from finals and projects, my most difficult challenge in the previous few weeks was committing to a full out media fast. Taking into account some of the things William Powers talked about in his article, here is how my 24 hour break from all sources of electronics went on Sunday:
I started my media fast shortly after class on Thursday and was fairly confident that I could successfully go an entire day without needing any electronics. I started by making a mental list of all of the devices I wouldn't be able to use; PS4, Iphone, laptop, TV, headphones (technically with the Iphone) were all devices that were to be left untouched. By saying this list out loud gave me even more confidence that I would be able to pull this off because it really seemed like such a short list of things that I had to avoid, but when I started to think about what sources of media I wouldn't be able to access due to these 4 things, I started to get a little nervous. Things like playing video games, talking to and making plans with friends, rewatching Game of Thrones, listening to music, and checking my email were to all be abandoned for the next day. Regardless, I started.
Using some of the techniques that Powers represented in his article, I tried asking friends the questions I wondered about for the day, but they simply would tell me to look it up or they would simply google it on their smartphones themselves in the end. It simply made me feel left out. Having struggled through the first 2 hours (sad, I know) of technology free living, I decided to adjust my approach to and try a positive rituals approach and made a rule to myself that I will specifically avoid any technology whenever I was involved with any school activity, so specifically no Netflix playing in the background, no texting, and no music when homework was in front of me (I needed a laptop for my computer science class). This caused me to actually use my time productively, which, given the timing, turned out to be very beneficial for my grades.
As the day went on though, my commitment to my 24-hour goal was fading. Slowly as the day continued, I would peek at my phone more and more each hour. By the end of the day I was streaming Archer on Netflix while playing solitaire on my phone. Needless to say, my attempt at abandoning media and technology was quite unsuccessful. On the other hand, knowing the difficulty to of doing a media fast would better prepare me to do it again, possibly with longer success. This just goes to show that it is becoming harder and harder for people to live without technology and we won’t know if that is good or bad for quite some time…